• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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1,524 out of 7,345 TB patients in Nasarawa are co-infected with HIV – Govt

1,524 out of 7,345 TB patients in Nasarawa are co-infected with HIV – Govt

…State records 89% treatments as 117 patients die

The Nasarawa State Government has said that about 1,524 out of 7,345 Tuberculosis (TB) patients in the State, representing 21%, were co-infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the State in 2023, resulting to the deaths of 117 patients, representing 1.6% death recorded in the year under review.

Speaking during a Press Briefing in Lafia, Nasarawa State Capital to commemorate th 2024 World Tuberculosis Day recently marked with the theme “Yes, We Can End TB”, Gaza Gomna, Commissioner for Health attributed the increase in number of infected persons to lack of awareness, but noted that the Sate Ministry was going to scale up testing and screen in order to strengthen its referral system to encourage more persons availing themselves with the facilities.

Gomna, who was represented by Ali John Damina, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, said the State Government had created 382 TB/DOTS Treatment Centers across the State in addition to the faith-based medical centres such as ERCC Medical Center, Alushi, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia and the Federal Medical Centre Keffi in order to increase the level of testing and screen of TB.

He lamented the burden of rising TB status in the State, but he was however of opinion that with the measures taken to tackle the spread of the disease, the risk posed to residents would be minimal

“Nasarawa State detected 7,345 TB cases in the year 2023; 21 per cent of whom are co-infected with HIV. This number is quite higher than that of the previous year, 2022, which was 5,445 with 18% co-infection with HIV. This shows that TB is still prevalent in the State. There is the need therefore to intensify our efforts in the fight against this menace”, he said.

He acknowledged the contributions of Local Governments that made up the total number recorded for 2023, inclduing, Awe LGA – 179; Obi LGA – 350; Wamba LGA – 178; Nassarawa Eggon LGA – 682; Nassarawa LGA – 1,846; Toto LGA – 143.

The commissioner further explained that the success rate of TB treatment in the State is currently at 89%, adding that the State is yet to meet the target of 95% stipulated by the National TB Control Programme, hence much work needed to be done.

While reiterating the State Government’s commitment to ensuring good healthcare delivery for populace, Gwamna said the Ministry would continue to work in collaboration with partners to reduce to the barest minimum, cases of TB and subsequent eradication of the disease.

“Currently, the State has 382 TB/DOTS treatment centres. Efforts are on to expand TB services to more remote areas for easy accessibility.

“TB is a disease of public health interest as it is highly infectious and airborne. TB is commonly associated with the following signs and symptoms: cough for two weeks or more that is productive of sputum or not, low-grade fever, persistent weight loss, chest pain, night sweats, among others.

“The Nasarawa State Government will not relent on its efforts to provide good, quality and affordable healthcare services to its citizens. If we must end TB in Nasarawa State and beyond, workable strategies must be put in place to eliminate the disease”, he comcluded.